Town, school celebrate school’s 50th year

October 23, 2009 — by Sophia Cooper and Mac Hyde

Saratoga High continued to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a busy weekend of events Oct. 9-10, including a panel discussion and alumni reception.

The weekend started off with Friday, Oct. 9, being proclaimed as “Saratoga High Day” by the city of Saratoga. The Falcons got into the spirit with a 50th Anniversary rally, complete with a mini-production of the musical “Grease” featuring senior Pat Hawks as Sandra Dee. The festivities continued into lunch when the leadership class sponsored free root beer floats for all students.

“The theme [of the rally] was great, and root beer floats are the best thing ever,” said junior Cassie Tran. “We should do it more often because it helps bring the school together.”

The evening provided approximately 75 alumni of the classes of 1962 through 2008 with a reception to honor eight original faculty members from the first year the school opened its doors. Memorabilia from throughout the 50 years of SHS were also displayed as alumni greeted long-lost friends and thanked teachers for their services during high school. Honorees included football coach Benny Pierce and social studies teacher Hugh Roberts, who also spoke Saturday night at the panel discussion.

“[Talking with alumni gave] me an appreciation on how the school has changed over the past 50 years,” said events commissioner junior Kent Paisley.

The Events Commission, a group of eight sophomores, juniors and seniors under the direction of assistant principal Karen Hyde, had been planning the event-packed weekend since last spring. Members of the commission dressed up in 1950s and 1960s attire for the Friday night reception and football game and helped the eight honored guests ride around the track in vintage T-Birds and get announced during the half-time presentation.

Saturday presented the community with tours of the high school, led by events commissioners and a panel discussion in the evening. The discussion, which focused on where SHS’s past, present, and future, was led by principal Jeff Anderson, district superintendent Cary Matsuoka, Roberts and Pierce.

“[At the panel discussion], I found out many alumni views on the school’s change in academic pressure,” said Paisley, “and that they largely agreed with the students that the academic pressure has become overwhelming.”

Participants said the 50th anniversary was fun for all and highlighted the good things SHS has brought to the community and to its students, current and former.

“For such a diverse group of people, young and old, the feeling about the past, present and future was the same,” said junior David Anderson. “We’re going places.”